Hi-Res Downloads

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C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Apr 02, 2015
You can’t help noticing that Paul Lewis’s recorded repertoire closely follows that of his mentor Alfred Brendel, whose early Vox LPs included Pictures at an Exhibition, a work he redid 30 years later for Philips. Issued with a bold Kandinsky cover, this Teldex Studio coupling is from Nov ’10/Feb ’14 and there’s a real disparity in sound quality. Pictures. .
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Apr 02, 2015
Almost 50 years on, this is the companion to Dylan’s original The Basement Tapes album. In 2013 Dylan’s publisher sent musician and producer T Bone Burnett a collection of lyrics unused at the time of the original sessions. Burnett then assembled a group of musicians including Elvis Costello, Jim James and Marcus Mumford to compose music for these lyrics. Of 40 recorded, the 20 tracks here make up Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes Vol 1.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Mar 06, 2015
Born in Paris in 1656, Marin Marais studied the viol under Sainte Colombe and worked under Lully in the court orchestra. He wrote over 800 pieces for viol, many in suite form and the Canadian oboist has transcribed six of those here. (The baroque oboe was first heard in a work by Lully a year after Marais was born and it quickly became very much in demand in France. ) The suites are typically in seven-movement form – Prélude, Courante, Sarabande, Menuet, etc – with a few concluding Gigues having descriptive titles: ‘La Chicane’, ‘La Badine’, ‘La Petite’.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Mar 06, 2015
With Oliafur Eliasson’s 2003 installation from Tate Modern as cover (and texts white on orange – hard to read!) this vocal collection of arrangements covers a wide time-span, like their Signum album Choral Tapestry. Their second Decca programme, on the theme of a comforting warmth that music can bring, introduces one or two instrumental ‘guests’ – cello, saxophone, water-tuned glasses – and spans from Tallis and Allegri (Miserere Mei) to contemporary writers in the pop field: ‘Teardrop’ from Massive Attack’s Mezzanine and Ben Folds’ ‘The Luckiest’ from a Richard Curtis film soundtrack – an item I found intrusive. Voces8 (two sopranos, counter-tenors and tenors, baritone and bass) were recorded in helpful acoustics at Dore Abbey, in Herefordshire, and more intimately, a Highgate, London, church. Hard to fault, though arguably best for ‘dipping into’.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Mar 06, 2015
Coming to this one hot on the heels of the Craig Armstrong's It's Nearly Tomorrow, it might be tempting to think ‘Not another album of film music’, but though German-born saxophonist Jason Seizer has created an album drawing on music from some celebrated movies, he combines with his band – Pablo Held on piano, Matthias Pichler on bass and drummer Fabian Arends – to come up with a set that’s both smooth of sound and perfect for a little late-night listening. Not surprisingly Seizer’s breathy sax is to the fore, underpinned by delicate playing from his fellow musicians, with plenty of brushwork and cymbals in the percussion department, a rich, warm bass and every touch of the piano crystal-clear. It’s not the most challenging jazz album you’ve ever heard, but the musicianship is beyond question, and the recorded sound serves the performers well. AE Sound Quality: 85% Hi-Fi News Lab Report Digitally recorded and mastered, this 96kHz rendering offers very low levels of white noise (hiss).
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Mar 06, 2015
This is either the long-awaited 15th and final album from Pink Floyd, or a collection of edit-suite sweepings lashed together with some new material and, given the variable sound-quality on offer here, the latter description isn’t without justification. Based on recordings for The Division Bell in 1993/4 (and already rejected for release back in 1994 as The Big Spliff), it’s intended as both a tribute to Richard Wright and what Dave Gilmour calls ‘a 21st-century Pink Floyd album’, and while it has delighted Floyd fanatics, it adds little to the collection of the casual listener. In fact, it’s more a case of ‘spot the source’ if you’re familiar with the back catalogue, and comparing this 96kHz/24-bit version with the standard CD-quality release, there’s not much gained, and arguably the slightly rag-bag nature of the content is more obviously revealed. AE Sound Quality: 70% Hi-Fi News Lab Report Tracks 19-21 are upsamples of 44.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Mar 06, 2015
96kHz/24-bit WAV/FLAC/ALAC*, BMG/Chrysalis 538013154 (supplied by www. naimlabel. com) This solo outing from award-winning composer Craig Armstrong was started when he was in Australia working on the music for the recent Baz Luhrmann remake of The Great Gatsby. Take all that on board, and you’ll probably have an inkling of what to expect from the generous 17 tracks that are on offer here,11 of which are instrumental – it sounds pretty much like film music, the songs having a distinct air of being rolled out to underpin the end titles of a movie.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 26, 2015
This is the third programme by Il Pomo d’Oro (founded in 2012, the group takes its name from a ten-hour 17th-century opera written by Antonio Cesti) in Naïve’s ambitious plan to record all of the Vivaldi works lodged in the Turin library. You’ll need to do some internet searching to find what exactly you are listening to here, as only the cover comes with this download. The six concertos vary in mood and inventiveness, with some fugal writing in the G-minor, RV517(i), birdsong and concluding ‘percussive’ effects in the opening track of the A-minor, RV523(i). The C-minor RV509 is quite a sombrely sustained work and it contrasts with the lively E-flat, RV515, with its echoing phrases.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 26, 2015
96kHz/24-bit FLAC, Bee Jazz BEE 064 (www. supplied by www. hdtracks. co.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 26, 2015
96kHz/24-bit FLAC, Harmonia Mundi HMC 902183. 84 (supplied by www. eclassical. com) Early, middle and late period sonatas are prefaced by the three sets of variations on this release, complementary to the violin sonatas with Faust/Melnikov [HFN Yearbook 2010, ‘Album Choice’].
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 26, 2015
Political ill-will meant that the planned Vienna Philharmonic premiere of the Brahms-influenced Dvo?ák Sixth was deferred for three years and it was first played by a Prague orchestra in 1881. The VPO’s only recording came in 2000 under Myung-Whun Chung – superb, like the BPO/Kubelík (both DG), and I don’t think this Lucerne Orchestra version offers any real challenge. In seeking out every tiny detail, their young American chief conductor, I think, loses a forward momentum – even in the furiant scherzo. Only in the finale does everything come together splendidly.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 26, 2015
Rarely does the evergreen Tom Petty disappoint his fans, his 13th album with The Heartbreakers proving to be no exception – except that it was three long years in the making. Perhaps because of this it feels over-produced and lacks any feeling of ‘performance’, despite the album being the band’s most rollicking and hard-rockin’ collection of tracks in a very long time. Power chords and jangling guitars combine with tremendous harmony vocals reminiscent of Petty’s outings when an angry young man in the ’70s. Of course we’ve heard it all before, but Petty’s song-writing remains as sharp and incisive as ever.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 26, 2015
96kHz/24-bit WAV, ALAC, FLAC*, Absolute/Megaphonic megad007 (supplied by www. naimlabel. com) As our Lab Report warns, there’s nothing ‘hi-res’ about the sound of Imogen Heap’s latest assemblage of sonic sculptures. Nevertheless she’s as inventive and eclectic as ever in her musical explorations in which she has cut ’n’ pasted a patchwork of myriad samples and ‘sound seeds’ (field recordings of mundane sounds sent in by her fans).
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 25, 2015
96kHz/24-bit WAV, ALAC, FLAC*, Naim CD195 (supplied by www. naimlabel. com) Burn is the 2013 debut album from the winners of a MOBO award last year. Sons Of Kemet are a London-based band famed for rattling the rafters with boisterous and eclectic jazz-with-a-twist.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 25, 2015
The Moscow composer-pianist Alexander Scriabin wrote his first five piano sonatas between 1893 and 1907; the other five date from 1911-13 (Nos 5-10 are in single-movt form). They show a development from a Chopin-influenced style – eg, ‘Funèbre’ in Sonata 1 – to one where ‘the tonic became distantly perspectived… existing only in the imagination’. Some have associated texts or sub-texts. Also Moscow trained, Anna Malikova made her recordings in a German studio in Feb/March of 2012, ’13 and ’14, playing a Shigeru Kawai pianoforte – then a newly launched model.

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